Vietoris, d'Ambrosio and Bird discuss the race GP2 Series: Christian, congratulations on your first main series win: how does it feel? Christian Vietoris: Yes, it feels great! I came here this weekend thinking that I haven't won a race yet...
Vietoris, d'Ambrosio and Bird discuss the race
GP2 Series: Christian, congratulations on your first main series win: how does it feel?
Christian Vietoris: Yes, it feels great! I came here this weekend thinking that I haven't won a race yet this season, and finally it worked quite well! I started good in qualifying, but was a bit unlucky there with yellow flag, for everyone it is the same, so yesterday we had a good race and today we had a great start which was the signal for the win, and everything went well today. @!GP2 Series:
GP2 Series: Talk me through that start: I know the guys in front were slow, but I don't know how you found a way through them all...
Christian: I had a good feeling when I warmed up my tyres, so I knew that my start probably would be good, finally the other guys in front of me didn't make a good one so for me it was more or less easy: for sure it was a good run, and I was a bit lucky as well, but overall everything went well. At the end I lost my rears a little bit, but I think for everybody it was the same. And finally we won: it took a long time but we won!
GP2 Series: Towards the end you had the guys right with you: it's a difficult place to overtake, but did you feel any pressure?
Christian: I knew that if I don't make a mistake it will be very hard for them, and I always focussed to get a good exit out of the corners to make it hard for them to overtake me on the straight or under braking, so I was quite sure that I could keep it.
GP2 Series: For a rookie season it's been pretty good, working your way in and learning the ropes, get a few points, work out qualifying, get podiums, and finally the win: are you happy with the way the season has worked out?
Christian: Well we started pretty good, we were always on the pace almost every single meeting, but were just a little unlucky and had some problems as well, but everybody has this. The last two races have been good for us, Budapest and now here, and we are improving all the time so that's good for us.
GP2 Series: Jerome, P2 today after a good start and a nice, conservative drive to the line is how it looked from the outside, but how was it for you?
Jerome d'Ambrosio: It wasn't really conservative! [laughs] I had a good start, well, everything is relative right, because I had a good start compared to the first three and a very bad one compared to Christian! In the end I'm happy with the result, although I had a two or three second gap and I closed it, and I think I was quicker than Christian, but it's just difficult to overtake here because low downforce means you lose everything while you're behind a guy, in Parabolica especially. But I have to say that I'm happy, especially because it's a good result for the team, and everything went through, so it's really good.
GP2 Series: The downside is you couldn't get by Christian, but the upside is Sam couldn't get by you: did he ever pose a problem?
Jerome: Well no, but it was a bit like I was the sausage in the bread you know [laughs], I was being squeezed between the two! It's not the nicest position because you can't get past the first one but you have to take care of Sam as well, who was right behind. I think Monza is like this: there's a long straight, it's true, but you lose so much downforce at Parabolica that it's actually very hard to overtake.
GP2 Series: A strong podium though, which is another nice result for you and the team...
Jerome: Exactly, yeah, and I think we're at the pace now: P6 in Budapest and the problem there, in Spa I think for sure I would have won that quite easily, here yesterday I was fifth in qualifying, and all the time we are in the top five all the time now, which is what we wanted to do, and it's good for the team as well. As I've said they are good, they've always been good, I've always been a good driver, and sometimes things happen but the way we've bounced back in a series like GP2, where you don't have any testing, it's take a lot of mental strength from everyone, and a lot of honesty from everyone, to be able to do this. This is fantastic, the way its happened, and it shows what we can all do together.
GP2 Series: Sam, two podiums for the weekend with a win and third: happy with your job this week?
Sam Bird: Yeah! I'm really, really happy, and for the two fastest laps too! I couldn't have asked for much more: getting a pole and another win would have been the ultimate, but we came close!
GP2 Series: It's as close as we've had to a perfect weekend for a long time, and basically it was set up today at the start: what happened there?
Sam: I got another good start: I think my starts have been been strong recently, I've got my head around the procedure that the team want me to do, got slotted into fourth and needed to overtake Max quickly because I didn't want the other two to get away, and then there were yellow flags out: I wasn't sure how strict they would be about people improving under the yellow so I backed right off, cruised around until the yellows went back in, and then pushed hard to catch them, and then with 2 laps to go I had to push hard to overtake Jerome. I tried but I couldn't quite do it: Jerome was quite aggressive going into Ascari on the last lap.
GP2 Series: It's a difficult place to overtake here, and Jerome is fairly notorious for being hard to overtake: do you think there was much more you could have done in this one?
Sam: For me the rules in racing say that you're allowed to move once, and for me he moved a couple more times: it's quite a dangerous place because it's bumpy and fast, it's undulating and there's a bridge there, and I honestly thought I was going to hit the bridge because he squeezed me and left me nowhere to go, so I had to brake in a straight line and avoid him, or else there would have been an aeroplane crash. But anyway, the team have done a great job, it's my best weekend in GP2, so hopefully I can carry that on to Abu Dhabi. We're going to continue to push really hard, and the team are pushing hard to win the team championship: obviously we can't win the driver one but Jules could get second, I could just about get third, but we'll have to see. It's all there to play for: bring on Abu Dhabi!